NASCAR: Chase Elliott wins Cup race in Nashville
In a race red-flagged by lightening and then again by rain, Chase Elliott outdueled Kurt Busch over the final 4 laps to win the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup on the Nashville Superspeedway.
Elliott took the lead on lap 262 of 300 in his #9 Hendrick Chevy and withstood intense pressure from the three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas that had dominated the race for the first 261 laps and would have finished 2-3-4 but chose to pit for tires when the final caution flew and that was the wrong choice.
Ryan Blaney’s #12 Ford was 3rd just holding off Kyle Larson’s Chevy by 0.112s
Ross Chastain took 5th.
It was Elliott’s 2nd win of 2022.
Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 team are leaving Nashville Superspeedway with the coveted custom guitar trophy in hand after taking the checkered flag in the rain delayed Ally 400. The second win of 2022 for the Georgia native didn’t come without a fight.
With an issue on pit road forcing Elliott to come from deep in the pack early in the race, Elliott’s team was able to quickly get their Chevrolet-powered machine dialed back in as a front runner in the final stage. With pit strategy playing a vital role throughout the race, Alan Gustafson (crew chief) chose track position during the final late-race caution, giving Elliott a front row spot for the restart with four laps to go. In a battle with second-place Kurt Busch to the end, it was the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1 that came out on top marking Elliott’s 15th-career victory in NASCAR’s premier series.
“Just so proud of our team,” said Elliott “We kind of had a setback there about halfway and we were able to get our NAPA Chevy dialed back in and get back in the mix. We were able to work on it a little bit after the penalty and got it going a little better. My team just stuck with it. Thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. They have been working really hard over the winter and through the spring to keep up. The engines have been running great and obviously great support from Chevrolet.”
The win at the 1.33-mile Tennessee concrete oval is the ninth trip to victory lane for the Camaro ZL1 in the season’s 17 points-paying races; a number that is more than double its manufacturer competitors.
The winningest brand in NASCAR, Chevrolet leaves Nashville Superspeedway with 823 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins. Chase Elliott entered the race weekend on top of the NCS driver points standings; and with a win and his now 11th top-10 finish this season, the Hendrick Motorsports driver continues to hold the top spot for the 13th-consecutive week with a 30-point lead over fellow Chevrolet driver Ross Chastain.
This marks the second Cup race at Nashville, a 1.33-mile concrete oval in Lebanon, Tennessee. Hendrick Motorsports has won each event at Nashville, with Kyle Larson claiming the inaugural victory in 2021.
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1: Finished 1st
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN THAT LAST CAUTION CAME OUT?
“I was figuring that it was coming, but was hoping not. Ryan (Blaney) gave me a great shove and I appreciate him doing me a solid there in getting us out front. Just so proud of our team because we kind of had a setback there about halfway and we were able to get our NAPA Chevy dialed back in and get back in the mix.
It was a long day, a fun day. Thank you guys so much for hanging out. Just so proud of our team. We have had a pretty rough month and month-and-a-half, so just nice to get going back in the right direction. Getting a win is always huge, but to do it in a really cool city like Nashville is even better. Looking forward to that guitar.”
HOW DID THIS CAR COME TO LIFE AFTER THE RAIN DELAY?
“We were able to work on it a little bit after the penalty and got it going a little better. My team just stuck with it. Thanks to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. They have been working really hard over the winter and through the spring to keep up. The engines have been running great and obviously great support from Chevrolet. I look forward to getting home and seeing my family; seeing mom and dad and hopefully enjoy it this week. These things are hard to come by and you have to enjoy them. You never know when or if ever you will get another one. So, super thankful and looking forward to next week.”
KURT BUSCH, No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD, 23XI Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What more did you need to beat Chase Elliott on the final restart?
“I got soft on him. I should have been throwing some fenders and moving some momentum around. I didn’t stick with our strength. We didn’t have many strengths tonight. We just executed really well. The restarts were so-so and long run speed was good. I just needed to stick with our strength and I messed up. I want to thank all my guys at 23XI. We have a great group of guys and girls. The way that we’re running, a second is cool, but we’re here for wins with the Playoff situation. Thanks to Monster Energy, Toyota and all of our associate sponsors. This Camry and all the TRD Camrys were awesome. I just hate it when we don’t get into victory lane and I was right there.”
What did you want to do differently on the restart?
“I wanted to throw some fenders, but I didn’t get the job done. Everybody will be smiling, but I let them down. I should have come up with a better plan.”
Were you always staying out on the final caution?
“We were going to stay out no matter what and I needed to start throwing fenders to move people around. I didn’t get after it and I made too many mistakes and didn’t stick with our strength. I’m not going to say what our strength was, but we did a lot of things good. We didn’t have one exceptional item. We’re second with our Toyota Camry. I want to do it over, but you don’t get those at this elite level and Chase (Elliott) got the job done.”
|7||2||Austin Cindric #||2.485||300|
|16||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||4.673||300|
|22||19||Martin Truex Jr.||6.017||300|
|24||38||Todd Gilliland #||6.117||300|
|25||21||Harrison Burton #||6.491||300|
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(*) REQUIRED TO QUALIFY ON TIME